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Kristaps Porzingis: “It was pretty easy to tell from the inside that we’re not that good of a team”

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The wheels have come off in New York, and now we watch the wreckage of the Knicks season for the same reason we stare at car accidents as we drive past. There is infighting about the triangle offense, the future of the team’s biggest star with the organization is in question, the future of the first year head coach is in question, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

The one thing worth pointing to with the Knicks’ future? Kristaps Porzingis.

He realized, even back when the Knicks started 14-10, that things were going to go sideways, he told Al Iannazzone of Newsday.

“I think it was pretty easy to tell from the inside that we’re not that good of a team,” Porzingis said after Sunday’s practice. “We can win games based off of our talent, but that’s not going to last long, and that’s exactly what happened.”

“Just more work, attention to details, keep growing as a team,” he said. “Obviously, a good team needs some time to play together. This was our first year for most guys playing together. It never happens like that: You trade a couple of players and there you go, you’re a championship contender.

“It’s understandable that we weren’t going to win the championship, but I could tell that we weren’t there yet where we wanted to be.”

Porzingis has said this before, saying in January he was frustrated, then again just a few days ago he said the team was confused top to bottom.

There seems to be a “we’re the Knicks, we can’t rebuild” mentality in Madison Square Garden that leads to poor short term moves (Derrick Rose, the Joakim Noah contract). Most Knicks fans I talk to would be good with a couple of years of losses and missing the playoffs if there was a plan long-term to build around Porzingis. Right now it’s hard to discern any long-term plan they are going to stick with.

This summer expect changes to come to New York. The only question is which ones?

Magic’s Aaron Gordon skies to finish amazing alley-oop (VIDEO)

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Aaron Gordon may not have had the best dunk contest this year — apparently drones and dunks don’t mix well — but the guy can still get up and finish with the best in the league.

As he did on this alley-oop against Detroit.

Elfrid Payton had to throw a lob that would get over Andre Drummond, but how many guys in the league can get that high, reach back and finish that? Damn.

Former Hawk Pero Antic’s celebration accidentally punches teammate in face in Eruoleague (VIDEO)

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Former Atlanta Hawk Pero Antic is now playing for Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce, in case you were not aware.

Fenerbahce was facing Anadolu Efes in a EuroLeague game, it was tight late and former NBA player Ekpe Udoh was at the free throw line for Fenerbahce. He missed his second shot, but the rebound caromed out-of-bounds off an Anadolu Efes player. Antic was pumped.

Maybe a little too pumped.

Ouch.

That was Nikola Kalinic, by the way, the guy Antic now owes dinner to. Kalinic would like the dinner more than the hug and kiss he got from Antic right after the play.

Also, Anadolu Efes held on to win 80-77.

(Hat tip to Ball Don’t Lie.)

James Harden helped recruit Lou Williams to Houston

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The Lakers had been shopping Lou Williams around in the run-up to the trade deadline, the only question was would they get a first-round pick for him. Rumors around the league say that Houston had offered them one weeks before, it was on the table, but the Jim Buss/Mitch Kupchak front office held their cards close and hoped a better deal would come through.

While all that was going on James Harden decided to ease the process and did a little recruiting calling up Williams, the sixth-man guard told Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.

“When James called, he asked me if I was interested in playing with them,” Williams told The Vertical. “I told him that I loved the Lakers, but James and them have a group that fit my personality, fit how I play. He said he was going to make it happen.”

Williams then laughed, sitting on the edge of a visiting court following a recent practice. “I’ve heard that before, so I didn’t really put stock into it,” Williams told The Vertical. “I guess James did put the word in, and the team made it happen.”

We all know what happened, Jeanie Buss removed her brother and Kupchak a few days before the trade deadline, Magic Johnston stepped in, called around, and quickly pulled the trigger on a trade that sent Williams to Houston (the Lakers also got Corey Brewer). Williams has averaged 14.5 points per game and had some strong performances with the Rockets, although he’s still finding his groove with the team on the court. Still, he’s been an upgrade for the Rockets’ bench.

Harden knew he would be, so he did his part to make sure it happened.

Take a look back at just how great Shaq was with the Lakers (VIDEO)

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Shaquille O’Neal was as dominant a force as the NBA has ever seen.

His peak years came with the Lakers, when paired with Kobe Bryant one the court — and Phil Jackson manipulating both of them — they won three titles (and arguably would have had more if they stayed together). Those Lakers teams were one of the NBA’s great teams.

Friday night, the Lakers unveil Shaq’s statue at Staples Center. Take a look back at some of Shaq’s Lakers highlights.